The crime genre is tightly packed with budding authors eager to display their writing skills as they start a new story with new characters and usually a slightly flawed lead detective. The hope is that if the story and main players are welcomed by an eager reading audience then further books will follow as a series is born. The problem is that there are now far too many so called authors plying their trade with the result that the writing is often bland and stereotypical in its delivery.
No way out is the third in a series featuring DI Adam Fawley and his intrepid band of warriors; Gislington , Quinn, Somer and Everett. A fire has occurred in a residential property, one child dead and one child clinging to life. It would appear that the parents are not in residence, and so the search is on to find them, the hope being that they can provide clues and answers to this appalling crime. Due to personal circumstances DI Fawley has stepped down as lead detective and has entrusted the investigation to her colleague Gis promoted as acting DS on this occasion
This is your average crime thriller, one of many competing for attention in a crowded diluted market. The usual suspects are present; an overworked DI with personal problems, bright- eyed junior detectives eager to prove their worth and a rather odd misguided sense of humour...We are investigating the death by burning of children and so our young band of police officers are working 24/7 it could be said they are on fire....not so sure I welcome this attempt at humour. Reading an average thriller only highlights the great difference between aspiring authors and established heavyweights such as Ian Rankin or Robert Galbraith. I have recently read, indeed consumed with vigour, the 3 Cormoran Strike novels which are simply outstanding and only serves to reinforce my opinion that good writing is the preserve of a few and only a minority ever attain this status. Many thanks to the good people at netgalley for a gratis copy in exchange for an honest review and that it what I have written.
Horses nuzzle their way into our hearts and have a way of teaching us a lot about ourselves, about life, and even about God. Just ask horse enthusiast Cara Whitney, wife of comedian and actor Dan Whitney (aka Larry the Cable Guy).
Through years spent working with these majestic animals—Cara Whitney has learned countless spiritual lessons that have brought her closer to God.
In 100 heartfelt devotions with stunning photography, you'll
Unbridled Faith is the perfect daily devotional for horse lovers.
Cara Whitney, wife of comedian Dan Whitney (aka "Larry The Cable Guy") puts together a very beautifully designed, gift-worthy book to which Dan Whitney provides the foreword. "Larry The Cable Guy wrote the forward to a devotional?!" you might be asking with just a dash of skepticism, I imagine. Well, Dan Whitney is here to explain.
Though he might not be immediately known for his faith professionally, he is actually the son of a preacher and went on to have his own education provided primarily through Christian based primary schools and colleges. He also explains that wife Cara came to her faith via a straightforward, rather pragmatic, maybe even slightly agnostic approach. This devotional she has now crafted is the culmination of years of dedicated theological study and regular introspection while working on the Whitney horse farm.
p163 image Unbridled Faith
Whitney writes very much in the vein of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books, each devotion a quick 2 page read with a prayer prompt at the end of each one. One of my favorite prayer prompts in this book: "Lord, help me to amplify the good in my life and control my emotions." Certainly something that spoke to me!
Another line that struck me, "God will bring the right scriptures, worship songs, and people into our lives when He knows we need them most. When we are lonely or in deep grief, He will send us his love in creative, diverse ways --- through nature, an email, or a movie scene." This was the case for me last year, months after losing my mother unexpectedly to a heart attack. That, combined with additional hits before and after that day, (making late 2016-2017 one of the worst periods of my life) ... I was spiritually exhausted after trying to keep myself emotionally strong, pushing back my emotions, putting all my energy into blocking out anything but daily obligations and work. Over time I found myself feeling more and more separated from the core of my soul. I didn't know if I myself was going to make it to the end of the year. On one of the hardest days of all, the song "Just Be Held" by Casting Crows mysteriously found its way into my noggin. That and Hilary Scott's "Thy Will"... I didn't even know she had solo work out there (apart from her band Lady Antebellum, of whom I'm a big fan).. but again, this song somehow found me. With the help of these songs, I allowed myself to finally cry out all that was pent up and then began to rebuild from the inside out.
end panel of Unbridled Faith
While the photography in Unbridled Faith is undeniably GOREGOUS, and the sentiments are comforting, the devotional pieces themselves, as far as topics covered, are pretty standard fare (for the devotional genre as a whole, that is). Whitney offers her own horse-themed spin on things of course, but doesn't really touch upon any new territory.
Some of the transitions felt a little clunky, such as the salt one, talking about how horses crave salt and then the next line talking about salt being currency in Christ's time. It just flowed oddly to me. But I did have a giggle (though I don't think it was intended humorously) at the line, "It's your salty side God loves most." LOL Well, I don't know about THAT, but I'll take it, I guess!
p173 image Unbridled Faith
Much of what was offered here, while as sweet and feel-good as one would expect, struck me as rehashings of topics you've likely read in a number of other books of this style. Furthermore, at times her thoughts struck me as a tinge judgmental of "non-believers", though she claims to feel called to evangelism.
In Devotion 61, she writes, "It's sad to believe, but there are Christians out there who think that it is their job to evaluate the holiness of other people." In Devotion 63: "Horses aren't the only ones who suffer from unfair perceptions. Sometimes people's perceptions of us are hard to overcome."
You don't say.
But I have to admit, I did enjoy her sense of humor at times:
"The next time your horse creates manure, remind yourself your animal is keeping you humble."
"Although my patient neighbors may disagree with my musical tastes, in my opinion all donkeys have perfect pitch."
Note to readers: this book contains spoilers for the children's classic Black Beauty by Anna Sewell.
p37 image from Unbridled Faith
FTC Disclaimer: BookLookBloggers.com kindly provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The opinions above are entirely my own.
Left Alive #2: A Zombie Action and Adventure Novel by Jeremy Laszlo starts where Left Alive #1 stopped. It is a post-apocalyptic, dystopian novel which is peopled with zombies of a different nature. I gave it five stars.
"Everyone had been tainted with the fertilizer that unleashed an agricultural plague to end all plagues across the planet. I had watched on the news as they showed us the devastation. They showed us the quarantines and the evacuations. There were the food strikes, the hunger and fear that drove average citizens into hostile frenzies...War erupted on a nearly global scale."
Charlie meets Lindsay who had saved his life before. She saved him again. He woke to missing his arm that had been caught in a bear trap by a Hunter.
I look forward to reading the next book in the series, Left Alive #3.
Link to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Left-Alive-Zombie-Action-Adventure-ebook/dp/B00M9E9CKY
that's a fact and while this story isn't fact it stems from reality a hard, cold cruel reality that this happens in the world that we exist in...it's a thing people a serious, scary, horrible, violent thing and if violence isn't your thing and by that I mean if it's a trigger for you than as much as this book dug into my heart and soul I'm going to suggest you think long and hard before reading it...actually I'm going to suggest that you may want to take a pass on this one. While I don't seem to have any 'triggers' that doesn't mean that there aren't things that will keep me up at night and I'm pretty sure that this will be one of them.
This is "NOT" a romance. But it is Gray's story or the beginnings of it. We first met Gray in previous books that were from or connected to the Camassia Cove series. Gray is Abel's best friend and had a pretty significant role in Abel and Madigan's story...'Power Play' which is where I came to really like him. I'm not saying there won't be caring and feelings but this is so not a typical or even an atypical love story.
This is a story about strength, courage and survival. It's about the evil that's out there in the world and while the story itself is fiction the reality of what it's about isn't...so this one's definitely not for the feint of heart. It's dark and disturbing and left me feeling a little sick because the fact that this kind of thing happens in the world we live in is more than a little disturbing.
While the violence wasn't downplayed by any means I appreciated that it also wasn't portrayed with an excess of description. It's a fine line to walk between what's not enough, what's enough and when things have gone to far and I have to say for me the author did a pretty impressive job of walking that line. While we're not give excessive descriptions of the violence what we are given is enough to engage the imagination and sometimes it's what the mind imagines that can be so much scarier than words on a page.
So you've been warned this is not a light and fluffy story and it can be disturbing and having said all that I have zero regrets that I read this book. It's an incredibly well told story about a subject that shouldn't be ignored.
Once again Cara Dee has dared to go where many wouldn't and she's done it without glossy, rose colored glasses. There were victims, survivors and heroes and yes, Darius was among the heroes in this story but I have the feeling that wasn't always the case. I have a sneaky suspicion that Darius has in the past been a victim as well. Gray and Cole were also victims but in the end we saw that they rose to the occasion and were heroes as well. But hero or victim...these men were all survivors and while someone can become a hero in an instant being a survivor comes from enduring getting back up no matter how many times you've been knocked down...never giving up.
This is also a story that makes a person want to take a look at their own moral compass just to be sure that it's pointing in the right direction to where you want to go. While the subject of this story might make many a person squirm in their chair there was also a relationship starting...a relationship that is trying to establish itself under less than ideal circumstances so needless to say it's gotten off to a very slow start and for those of us who didn't get enough of these two men...there will be more and I honestly can't wait to see what's next for Gray and Darius.
An ARC of 'Auctioned' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.